Staff Bios

Victor Merced
Executive Director

VictorMerced Victor comes to Hacienda CDC as a seasoned leader of social justice issues in a variety of government, philanthropic and non-profit sectors. Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the ghetto of South Bronx, New York, Victor developed an early passion for Latino and housing advocacy. He first embarked on his journey as a leader in housing and community development at just 21 when he served as the Director of the People’s Development Corporation in South Bronx. Since then, Merced has held a number of relevant leadership positions, including Executive Director of the Oregon Council for Hispanic Advancement; Deputy Administrator of the Oregon Department of Human Services’ Adult and Family Services Division; and as the Senior Program Officer at Meyer Memorial Trust. Most recently he served as the state’s Director of the Oregon Housing and Community Services Department where he led the department in the development of over 8,000 low-income, multi-family housing units and the preservation of 3,000 expiring low-income units in vulnerable population groups.

Victor’s academic degrees include: Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law (1985) and Bachelor of Science in Housing and Urban Development from Herbert H. Lehman College of the City University of New York (1982).

Carlos Garcia
Homeownership Support Program Manager
(503) 961-6405

Carlos_cropCarlos joined the Hacienda team in December 2011. Carlos has more than 4 years experience helping advocate for struggling homeowners and creating homeownership opportunities for first-time homebuyers. In his role, Carlos oversees Hacienda’s Homeownership Support Program which provides families and individuals buying their first homes counseling and education as well as to those who are at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure. Carlos is excited about the opportunity to live and work in the same city and hopes to continue advocating for responsible and more affordable homeownership for all as well as continue helping families preserve the assets they already have. Carlos has a degree in International Business from Oregon State University where he worked throughout his undergrad career on issues of access and retention of Chicano/Latino students. On his own time Carlos enjoys traveling, playing basketball, watching movies and enjoying time with family and friends.

Anna Gordon
Expresiones Program Manager
(503) 459-7608

Anna Gordon Anna has over five years of experience working in environmental and community education, both in the U.S. and Mexico, with a focus on community empowerment through sustainability. She first joined Hacienda in 2009 as an After School Program Coordinator, where she enjoyed the connections she made with students and parents. After working for Fundacion Donde in Yucatan, Mexico in the winter of 2010, Anna returned to Hacienda in May of 2011 as a Parent Involvement Coordinator, where she works at all four After School Program sites. In this new capacity she continues to connect families to resources, engage them in their children’s education, and break down barriers to academic success. From 2007-2009 Anna served as an AmeriCorps member at Madison High School in NE Portland, where she worked with students, teachers and parents to create a school and community garden that still flourishes to this day. Anna graduated from Macalester College in 2006 with a BA in Environmental Studies and a Minor in Spanish. During her time at Macalester she spent a semester abroad in Panama working with small farmers and studying conservation and development. Anna greatly appreciates working in the Hacienda community and is thrilled to continue to build relationships with our resident communities. In her own time she enjoys cooking, gardening, riding bikes and milking her goats!

Yolanda Karp
Office Manager
(503) 595-2111

Yolanda Karp Yolanda Karp joined Hacienda CDC in March 2012 as no stranger to the organization. In 2002 she opened sister organization, Hacienda Community Credit Union, creating a legacy that established the Latino community as worthy and capable of good credit. Since then Hacienda CCU merged with Point West Credit Union to offer more products and services. She has over 15 years of experience working in the Latino community of Portland, ranging in a variety of roles. Such positions include everything from a Mortgage Loan Officer to an advisor of applicants in the federal, state and county safety-net programs.

Yolanda studied Ethnohistory in her native Mexico City at the Escuela Nacional de Antropolgia e Historia and finished a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership and, a Master’s degree in Business Administration at George Fox University.

Catherine Kes
Housing Developer
(503) 961-6415

CatherineKesMs. Kes, an attorney licensed in Oregon, began doing pro bono work for Hacienda in 2005 and was intrigued by the work being done by the organization. After over 20 years working for a large corporation, Ms. Kes joined Hacienda’s staff in 2006. As Housing Developer, she is responsible for all housing development activities for the organization. She plans, manages and executes all project life cycle activities from financial feasibility analysis, funding application proposals; procuring and negotiating terms and agreements with lenders and tax credit investors; assembling and managing development teams; construction management and initial lease-up. Catherine earned her B.A. in Business at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minnesota and her J.D. at Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. In 2012 she received a Housing Development Finance Professional certification from the National Development Council. On her own time, she enjoys traveling, watching the Celtics, walks with her dog and spending time with family and friends enjoying Oregon’s bounty.

Tanja Lux
Chief Financial Officer
(503) 961-6408

Photobucket Tanja joined Hacienda in May of 2011 after working for four years in the tax and audit departments of a local public accounting firm. She is happy to be putting her accounting skills to use in an organization whose mission she supports. She started her career in Los Angeles as an elementary and middle school math teacher. She holds a math degree from University of Texas in Austin, a Masters in Education from Boston College and a Post-baccalaureate Certificate in Accounting from Southern Oregon University. Tanja enjoys playing violin with the Oregon Sinfonietta and playing chase with her two young children.

Alma Rivera
Portland Niños and Avanzamos Program Manager
(503) 459-3704

Alma Rivera Alma has extensive experience working with the Hispanic community in different health-related programs, focusing on education about breast cancer. From 2004-2009 Alma coordinated Hacienda’s Mujer Sana Program, which provided breast cancer education to Portland-area Latina women. In her new position as Parent Educator, Alma works with Latino families and children ages 0-5 years old providing bilingual child development education and administering the Parents as Teachers (PAT) curriculum. In June 2012 Alma started a new position as the Portland Niños and Avanzamos Program Manager. She graduated from the University of El Salvador with a Doctor of Medicine degree, with a specialty in pediatrics. Alma has lived in Portland for five years, with her husband and two sons.